Many people think that we anti-schoolers are against academics.
We are not entirely against academics, we are just against making academics the only thing in life and sidelining everything else.
We also think academics and mainstream exams have a completely different strategy to prepare then what is followed in the school.
Last, if a child is not doing well academically, the school adds no value to improve his skills. The child is usually dependent on their parents or a private tuition class. Which are again using the same classroom model which does nt help the child.
Here are some points about academics that we want to talk today
- What is academic training and examination system?
Many people equate academic training and exam system with education.
Academic subjects are nothing but tests of memorization. They are not about thinking, solving problems. Life is mostly about thinking, working in team, and solving problems. Of course, there is a grey area between life and academics and some areas overlap. But most knowledge that are taught in academics can easily be acquired through activities and day to day media.
The first type of academic information is general knowledge and awareness
Subjects like social sciencce, basic geography, etc.
One does not really need to go to school to learn about how the government is run, how elections work. These things can be learnt through life itself, following news, elections .
Now let’s come to the second type of academics. The area which does not overlap with general knowledge.
Now second type of academics are like math, algebra , now these are the things that are not part of general awareness but part of specialized profession. For example, if i am studying geometry then it would make much more sense to learn it if i am working on an architecture project. This is one of the biggest problem with academic system. It makes an attempt to teach stuff without the context in real life.
If you want to teach someone about geography, it is best taught either by stories or by travel. Or by films. -Brain understands visual more than written word. Brain is receptive to feelings more than information.
- Academics should start later in life
Academics especially the math, science should start later in life. Just how there’s an age for girls to bear a child. And boys to go into the gym. Children should nt be forced for academic training until they reach a certain age.
Early academic training reduces mental development . And is harmful for children. There are several studies that have established a clear connection in early academic training and poor academic performance later in life. Along with lower confidence, lower risk taking and creativity skills.
- For being good in math, one has to spend more time in the playground
If a child is not good in academics, it is not about lack of hard work. It is more about either a lack of foundation in that topic or lack of Mental development in life skill.
When a child spends time in the playground. He learnts about physics, He observes shapes, he learns how to throw, catch. And he also learns how to take risks and that builds his confidence.
All this helps in academic learning.
- Lack of leusirely reading
Anything done in leisure, is effortless. I give an example of how children memorize everything about cricket, also about movies. Children learn easily when there’s a leisure and play element involved.
Leisurely reading builds the strength to do academics better. It improves comprehension power.
- Lack of “life” experiences
When a child is born, one information adds to another and brain makes patterns. The more referencce information is available, the brain is able to infer anything new better. When a child looks at his parents face, he recognizes that there are two eyes, one nose. Then he looks at an animal, he again sees the same pattern but with a variation.
The world is full of such patterns. And textbooks are non-visual and hence not lucid way to primary exposure to the patterns which can only be experienced through LIFE.
- Fear gets labour work done, not learning
- Exams are not helpful at initial stages
So of course, how good your child will do in academics will depend on various factors. Hard work could be one part of the equation. And the result of hard work will depend on how good the foundation and other factors as mentioned above is.
A man who is 7 feet tall won’t have to work as hard as someone who 5 feet to play basketball. That’s the metaphor! Before you want your child to do well in academics. Start with why you want him to do academics, is it even relevant for his life’s purpose, attitude, aptitude and goals? Or you want him to adapt because of your insecurities and compliance to the non-scientific system
Children are made to work hard when they are not really READY for that level. They are made to compete with other children who come from different foundation.
And in the process children loose confidence, and even interests in non-academic activities of life.
This is a very terrible situation to be in. Something that neeeds to be changed and thought about.
What to do if your child is not doing well academically
- Think why you want academics